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National Meteorological Service of Belize advances technologically to keep up with the times, to introduce weather app

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2023. 11:16 am CST.

Photo Credit: NSMB

By Rubén Morales Iglesias:

As the National Meteorological Service of Belize (NMSB) observes World Meteorological Day on Thursday, March 23, the NSMB said it is advancing with the times and will introduce a weather app by year’s end and will implement the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) by the start of the 2023 Hurricane Season.

The NSMB in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management today celebrates World Meteorological Day 2023 under the theme ‘The Future of Weather, Climate and Water across Generations’ with an Information Fair at the Belize Civic Centre along with several stakeholders in climate sensitive sectors.

According to the NSMB, as it advances technologically, the Department will launch a weather app by the end of 2023, making weather and climate information more accessible to all. On top of that the NSMB is planning to implement the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) by the start of the 2023 Hurricane Season.

“CAP is a multi-media/multi-hazard approach to providing alerts and warning to the general public. This will ensure that persons at risk of any potentially hazardous weather and climate conditions receive adequate warnings in a timely and effective manner,” the NSMB concluded.

NSMB Staff – December 02, 2022 (Photo Credit: NSMB)

The NSMB said the Department has worked tirelessly over the years to get to this point.

“National Meteorological and Hydrological Services have worked around the clock throughout the years to collect and standardize the critical data that underpin the daily weather forecasts that are often taken for granted,” the NSMB said.

According to the NSMB, the Department has advanced technologically over the years and has made strides improving weather and climate forecasts which have helped to significantly reduce losses to lives and properties over the years as compared to the 1931 hurricane devastation.

“In Belize, we can compare the difference from 1931, when a devastating hurricane affected the country without any reliable forewarning resulting in thousands of fatalities, to the present, where with the advances in technology, the population is warned several days ahead of a landfalling hurricane and is able to take necessary actions to protect life and property,” the NSMB said.

“One of the most striking evidence of this advancement is in the use of automatic weather stations across the country to collect, store and share real-time weather information from remote areas in the country,” the NSMB said.

A decade ago, the department relied heavily on manual weather stations, but now has over 50 automatic weather stations that collect and transmit data via cell phone modems or satellite every 15 minutes. This information is available to the public in real time.

“Besides an impressive network of automatic weather stations, several technological advancements in numerical weather prediction, climate data processing, lightning detection, radar observations etc., have increased our forecasting ability and improved our alerting capabilities of extreme weather events,” the NSMB concluded.


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